(Sponsored Review) Combating Acne spots & marks with EFFACLAR DUO+

Acne / Pimples are my worst nightmare as it is painful and decreases my confidence level.. Acne is more than just blackheads, whiteheads and spots! After it clears out, the nightmare continues to plague me as my skin is at risk of being marked for life! The ‘left-behind’ from the breakout further creates more imperfections as it will leave behind stubborn marks which is hard to battle! The picture below was taken when i have one of the worst breakup in my life a year back! It took me a few weeks to get the acne under control but it was so depressing to see plenty of acne marks (Pigmented marks / red marks) left behind!! If i never remembered wrongly, it took many months for the marks to fade!

Acne marks are identified by dermatologists as a consultation motive often more important than acne itself.  Marks will also affect anyone – On fair to very fair skin. Acne marks caused by the lesion and revascularization of newly formed tissues. Darker skin prone to greater melanin production is at a higher risk of marks. In such cases, brown marks tend to form, known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation marks (PIH). These can last several years and may never fade away. Hence after the acne inflammation clears up, the induced marks must be treated early enough as they are also sources of anxiety, self-depreciation and frustration.


Stubborn acne marks, the #1 fear!

How Acne and Marks are formed

Acne occurs when there’s an inflammatory condition of the pilo-sebaceous follicle. The sebaceous glands are hyper-stimulated, producing an excess amount of sebum which then blocks the follicular duct which eventually forms blackheads and micro-cysts. A type of bacteria normally present on skin, P-acnes are particularly attracted by excess sebum, it colonizes the follicular duct’s interior, multiplying and triggering inflammation which leads to the formation of firm, red, sometimes painful inflamed spots.

The more deep-seated the inflammation, the harder it is for the body to repair the lesion. Surrounding cells react by releasing stress messenger molecules called cytokines. Abnormally stimulated, melanocytes release melanin, the key pigment responsible for skin color, in an uncontrolled manner. This increased melanocyte activity leads to hyperpigmentation at the inflamed area of skin. Melanin builds up within the epidermis and sometimes even in the dermis, where it becomes particularly difficult to eliminate. Red or brown marks will thus appear at skin surface as well as in-depth and this is the reason why it takes a long time to disappear (sometimes it may even become permanent.


To help battle the post acne marks,  La Roche-Posay has launched the EFFACLAR DUO in 2009 and marked a major turning point in acne-prone skincare. Over 3 products are sold every minute across the globe as the EFFACLAR DUO contains global  efficacy in a single product which is derived from a breakthrough technological progress with the most in-depth dermatological expertise.  EFFACLAR skincare range from La Roche-Posay is the leading anti-imperfection range for oily and sensitive skin in European pharmacies

Combining outstanding efficacy and tolerance, EFFACLAR DUO contains a treatment formula meticulously combined with reference and proficient dermatological active ingredients to act at every stage of the imperfection cycle.  In a single product, the double performance on the various imperfection types – retentional, inflammatory or mixed – simplifies therapy allowing for improved compliance – particularly among teens. During clinical trials, significant results and efficacy are seen from 4 weeks – Severe imperfections are corrected and pores are unclogged! The product has even topped the dermatological prescriptions charts as they see the product as the culmination of in-depth research into the mechanisms behind imperfections and into the effect on patients’ daily lives.

In 2014, La Roche-Posay has launched the EFFACLAR DUO+ and this anti-imperfection treatment which is adored by many now contains a new ingredient Procerad™. A patented ceramide, Procerad™ has shown to be able to correct imperfections and prevent the marks they can leave behind.  This new ingredient further reinforce the efficacy of the original formula’s quartet of active ingredients – Niacinamide, Piroctone Olamine, LHA and Salicylic Acid, and Targeted Linoleic Acid to treat imperfection skin!

For the 1st time with EFFACLAR DUO+, and it represents a revolution* in acne-prone skincare management, marks are eliminated in-depth the moment they start to form. The goal is to combat their development before they even reach skin’s surface and above all not to leave them time to become established. The EFFACLAR DUO+ is a daily skincare product which targets to unclog pores, eliminates severe imperfections and reduces marks. To guarantee optimal efficacy and tolerance, all EFFACLAR skincare benefit from a strict formulation and have been tested under rigorous conditions, on acne-prone skin.With La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring water (hypoallergenic, non comedogenic & paraben free), it is suitable for all skin types.

With new proof of Effiacy:

From 24hrs: even severe imperfections are visibly less red.
From 8 days: severe imperfections have disappeared.
From 4 weeks: pores are unclogged, skin texture is refined, shine and oily areas appear regulated.
Tested on over 7,500 subjects of all skin color.


The improved version of the EFFACLAR DUO+ contains Procerad which strengthens the original formula’s shock- treatment quartet of active ingredients (that’s already powerfully unclogging and corrective on acne lesion):

– Niacinamide, the reference anti-inflammatory active ingredient for intensive soothing
– Piroctone Olamine to combat bacterial proliferation.
– LhA and salicylic acid for their complementary keratolytic actions.
– Targeted Linoleic acid: to regulate keratinocytes, plus target the follicle

Procerad™, is a patented ceramide which proved* its remarkable power to reconstitute skin’s protective barrier and restore its integrity It has the ability to hinder the development of acne blemishes, correct imperfections and prevent the marks they can leave behind. With its soothing properties, it diffuses inflammation caused by the bacteria responsible for comedones and inflammatory lesions. It also shows true anti-pigmentation ability, thus offering uniquely effective corrective action on both red and brown marks. By acting simultaneously on the inflammatory and melanogenesis phase (where melanocytes are hyper stimulated, risking excess melanin production) – Procerad™ boasts two-fold, pro-active action on pigment mark formation.

*To offer the best possible proof of product efficacy, the brand travelled to the Chinese city of Chengdu to recruit 34 patients with skin types particularly prone to post-inflammatory inflammation. 


Acne-prone skin is characterized by a unique kind of sensitivity. Therefore the EFFACLAR DUO+ is formulated to have a refreshing cream-gel texture which perfectly suits the most sensitive, acne prone skin. Its non-sticky & non-oily finish is quickly absorbed with no need to rub (this can exacerbate inflammation) and it offers a reassuringly long-lasting matte finish. Skin also stays hydrated for long hours and the  EFFACLAR DUO+ also dual as an excellent make-up base.

Squeezing of acne will also increase the occurence of marks. Therefore even with regular use of EFFACLAR DUO+ , it is  strongly recommended not to touch spots. Squeezing them will only aggravate the lesion. The more in-depth the irritation, the harder it is for the body to repair the lesion and the more likely skin is to develop marks.


My skin was well taken care by the 2 laser treatments that i did few months back – Skin is less bumpy, more radiant and it still remains healthy with reduced breakouts, and clogged pores (due to the reduction in oil secretion).  Skin texture isn’t as dull with lesser bumps. Post acne marks has started to fade gradually. However, i have to put laser treatment to a stop due to personal reason (will share more about it when i’m more comfortable with it). I’m also keeping my skincare regimen very basic (Cleanse, tone and moisturize) as i don’t wish to subject my skin to too many products. Due to the rage in hormonal activity and a drastic switch in my skincare routine, skin condition isn’t as healthy as before… I’m experiencing more oil secretion, bumpy skin with increased breakouts (all over my face this time) and post acne marks (i find that it is more obvious than before).. Even my forehead that’s clear from acne all the time isn’t spared either! 😦

When i came across the EFFACLAR DUO+ from La Roche-Posay, i did not hesitate to give it a try as my past experience with the brand’s products have been a pleasant one. As it contains salicylic acid (IMO, a small amount won’t harm although many online sources say to avoid this ingredient), i’m being cautious to use it as a spot treatment instead on my breakouts 2 times daily.

First impression: The texture of the EFFACLAR DUO+ gel-like light feel and fragrance free. Will use it after toning and before applying my moisturizer / sunblock. It is really suitable and mild to be used if you have sensitive skin as it does not cause any stinging sensation when applied on. There’s also no particular dryness or itchiness caused. Hence, it won’t cause the skin on my spots to peel / become flaky and it won’t leave behind dry patch so it won’t lead to patchiness when i apply my concealer.

Subsequent impression: After applying on my huge breakouts 2x daily for 3-4 days, i observed that it is treating my breakouts very well. Firstly, i observed that my spots are not as red / angry as before. It isn’t as painful and less itchy / irritated after few days of application… Unlike other types of pimple cream, it  is not drying as it does not lead to skin on the spot to peel nor it leaves behind very dark brown spots once it heals… Subsequent application of the EFFACLAR DUO+ on my healed spot does seems to fade the level of red / brown pigmentation. 🙂

Pretty impressed with this product and i have even introduced it to my hubs who has one really big, red and painful acne on his cheek a few days back..  Before using this product, the acne on his cheek is really red and angry-looking.. After using the EFFACLAR DUO+ as a spot treatment 2x daily, the redness has died down significantly. He also agreed that the texture of the EFFACLAR DUO+ is very light weighted and it does not cause any stinging sensation / peeling after usage.. Since it works for him, he’s also using the gel on his chin and jawline area as a preventive measure as these 2 areas are very prone to breakouts.. So far so good as there’s no more further acne formation on these areas. Glad to be able to share this awesome and effective product with him 🙂


(L) Texture (C) Application (R) After the Effaclar Duo+ gets absorbed fully 

Effaclar Duo+ retails for $38.90 (40ml) and it is made available at La Roche-Posay’s new multi-brand boutique, the Derma Center. It is also available at major pharmacies like Watsons, Guardian and Unity, and selected hospital pharmacies.

* Disclaimer: Products Description & information are extracted from La Roche-Posay’s Press Kit

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